LOCAL PLAN VERDICT: More work needed

17:02 03 April 2014

Archant

Whitehall has told district authority bosses that their future planning blueprint is inadequate and more evidence is needed before it can be rubber-stamped.

But East Devon District Council (EDDC) chiefs say they expected that the Local Plan would be returned – for the second time – and are looking to submit it again in the autumn.

In a letter released by the authority at 5pm today (Thursday), Planning Inspector Anthony Thickett revealed he could not yet find it sound as he expects a clear assessment of how the housing need in East Devon will be met.

He is awaiting the results of a longer-term, Devon-wide housing survey – which began around the time the Local Plan was first submitted in August 2013 – which could see East Devon help address a ‘dire shortage’ of housing land in Exeter.

The Local Plan sets out EDDC’s plans for housing, employment and the environment until 2026.

The delay does not mean development will stall, but it will continue against a backdrop of national and regional pressures for new homes.

Mr Thickett has requested more work to be done allocating volumes of housing around the district to get the distribution right.

He also wants more evidence on the need for gypsy and traveller sites, as well as suggested locations.

EDDC leader Paul Diviani said: “This is pretty much what we expected. It is quite common for an inspector to ask for more information before finding a Local Plan to be sound.

“Neighbouring councils in Teignbridge, West Dorset and West Somerset have all had similar delays for similar reasons.

“This is such a complex subject that it is difficult to get all the boxes ticked in one go.

“After spending so long refining our plans and consulting on them, at some point you have to jump in and say, ‘OK – let’s see how close we are to what the Government wants to see’.

“In the circumstances I am relaxed about the extra work we have to do.

“We will now put together an action plan showing what we will be doing and when.

“We hope to go back to the inspector in the autumn with the extra information he needs.

“In the meantime, our planning procedures will carry on as they have done up to now, with proposals looked at on merit and tested for sustainability, as well as taking into account the issue of land supply.

“One of the important things to remember is that in planning terms, East Devon is not an island – and the communities within it cannot be taken in isolation either.

“We are all a part of the Exeter sub-region and as such the future shape of our district is closely coupled with the needs of our neighbours.”

The Local Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspector for the second time in December last year.

A month-long public examination began in February, in which he heard representations from the various towns and villages, and on topics ranging from employment to green space preservation.

Sidmouth’s section seeks to preserve its historic grandeur and its ‘outstanding natural environment’, while providing for new employment sites and accommodating another 150 homes.

Mr Thickett’s full report has not yet been released.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Matt Fulls and Neal Fulls from Honiton Moshulu headquarters will be cycling for charity from John O'Groats to Land's End. Ref mhh 6516-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

In all, the team will be covering 2,000 miles.

Read more
23 minutes ago
Fashion show

Exmouth Players is hosting a fashion show in early June as a fundraiser to help refurbish the green room and kitchen at the Blackmore Theatre in Exmouth’s Bicton Street.

Read more
11:30
The staff at Bartlett's Farm shop near Gittisham show their support for Clic Sargent. Ref mhh 6945-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Various fundraisers helped raise more than £350 for CLIC Sargent.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Police are now aiming to clamp down on boy racers.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:24
The pensioner is airlifted to safety off Seaton

Lyme RNLI crew called to assist 67-year-old in need of medical help

Read more
Yesterday, 12:55
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Honiton’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) has been announced as the winner in a competition to bring a top contemporary artist to town.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:02
Resplendent in his robes, Town Crier Derek Wenn ensured the Colyton Tractor run had a fitting send off. Ref mha 7902-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

More than 120 agricultural vehicles take part in this year’s charity fundraiser

Read more
Mon, 18:30
Computer

Anyone who can help should get in touch with steering group vice-chairman Jackie Wadsworth.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1231-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery is determined Devon Freewheelers will help save lives – as a Belfast ‘hidden hero’ undoubtedly helped saved wife Shelley’s life in 2005.

Read more
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sam Bader

Dad-of-one Sam Bader, 28, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, supports Devon Freewheelers by sponsoring one of the motorbikes, Bravo One.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder